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How To Change Domain Names & Keep Rankings in Google


How To Change Domain Names & Keep Rankings in Google

As your business grows, you might want to rebrand yourself if you niche down on a specific product or service, or when you decide to include a bunch of other services along with the existing ones. Either way, the rebranding will also include you having to change your domain name. If you already rank well for certain keywords, it might be a difficult move for you as there is a good chance that your rank might go down.

An SEO company can help you prevent such scenarios by taking care of the essentials. It implies you can roll out your new website and still position as before in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

In case you want to go by yourself, here are the exact steps you can follow if you want to change domain names and keep rankings:

Step 1: Create a sitemap of your old domain.

Download a copy of your old domain’s sitemap. Along with this, also store a backup of all the files from your old domain. This is done so that you can notify search engines that you have switched your domain. Not only this, but it also helps if you lose any file while moving you a new domain.

Step 2: Build your site on the new domain.

Keep the old design if you wish to but feel free to give a complete re-design with different brand colours. Start putting out fresh and interesting content frequently and try to get some backlinks. Redirects the visitors from your old domain to your new domain.

Step 3: Create 301 Redirects

You can use one of these 2 methods to configure your 301 redirects.

  • PHP Header Redirects: This method works well in case of small websites. All you need to do is add the following code to the header of every page on your website. Before doing this, please sure that all the files are saved in .php format for the script to run properly.
<?
Header( “HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently” );
Header( “Location: http://www.newurl.com” );
?>
  • .htaaccess Redirects: If you have an .htaaccess file on your site, you can add the following code to carry out a site-wide redirect.
redirect 301 /old/old.htm
http://www.newurl.com/new.htm

where /old/old.htm is the old path and http://www.newurl.com/new.htm is the new path.

Step 4: Resubmit your old sitemap

Resubmit your old sitemap on Google Search Console and Bing’s Webmasters Tools to let the search engines know that your new site is up and running. It is also recommended to fill this change of address form to notify Google of your domain change.

Step 5: Submit your new sitemap

Make the final submission of your new sitemap to complete the process. Wait for a few ways and watch out. Your Google Search Console will notify you once the site is indexed. If there are any errors, you will find them listed under the diagnostics section of your account. Search for the keywords you ranked for before. You should be able to see similar rankings for your new domain. If you see a drop, the URLs may not be redirecting properly and you might want to repeat the process.

An SEO company in Mumbai can help you out with changing domains without affecting your rank on the Google SERP. It is recommended that you get in touch with one of them instead of trying it yourself because even a single wrong click can affect your ranking badly. After all, you would not want all your efforts to get wasted if something gets lost during the transition.

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